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Thread: The Road
June 30th, 2008, 07:30 PM #1
Has anyone ever read The Road, by Cormac McCarthy? I just finished it a couple days ago, and I was extremely pleased with the book. Even in its simplistic writing, you can clearly tell McCarthy is very intelligent with a profound sense of human nature. It was so subtly disturbing that I couldn't read it at night sometimes.
What did you guys think of it?
July 1st, 2008, 08:59 AM #2
I read it in April. I liked it but I still have to think about what I really do want to say about the book. Well, beyond the "I liked it. Read it."
I think in Gary Wassner's forum there was a lengthy discussion? Uh, short check, yes, here it is.
But hopefully this will not mean this discussion here dies and moves over there. I think it is a very good book to discuss here - even though some might think it belongs into the SF forum.
Oh, by the way, the book will be made into a movie. Don't know the status.
Another book by Cormac McCarthy that was turned into a movie: No Country for Old Men. Since watching the movie and reading The Road I do want to read this one too. Already have it on my to-read-pile.
Maybe more later.
July 2nd, 2008, 08:04 AM #3
One of the best books I've ever read. Disturbing in so many ways. Somehow, he kept the heart of what it is to be human in such savage times as the focus of the story. Amazing. McCarthy is a genius in his spare use of words. He needed a small novella to convey what would take other authors 600 pages. Loved it. Absolutely and unconditionally.
July 2nd, 2008, 09:40 AM #4
I read The Road in one sitting several months back, which is something I rarely do. I'd previously read some of McCarthy's other books and already loved his writing. The story was utterly dark and hopeless but I couldn't stop reading it because I loved it so much.
Last edited by ezchaos; July 2nd, 2008 at 09:42 AM.
July 2nd, 2008, 10:23 PM #5
My dad and I were trying to pinpoint exactly what made the book so disturbing, and I think I finally realized what haunted me. The fact that McCormac barely describes the horrible things that happen to the man and his son, but gives just enough information to let your imagination run rampant. I couldn't read the book at night for a while, because it made me think too much.
*spoiler* (kind of)
The worst part for me was when they were in the house with the boarded up door and the boy pleaded for him to not go in. I almost couldn't take it. My younger brother however, found it to be stupid and not gory enough for his taste. He was not disturbed by the book at all, and quite frankly that disturbed me. Maybe it's because he watches all those saw movies, and it desensitizes him from true horror: realistic horror.
And Nimea, yes I did notice that it was going to be made into a movie...I'm not as of yet sure if I'm happy or not about this. Hollywood screws up too many things. For one, I though No Country for Old Men was a much better book than the movie (but when does it not work out that way?), but I'm hoping a decent director gets his hands on this one...it's too easy to turn a great movie with very little gore and no language into a ridiculous R-rated horror film. I wish an independent director from Sundance would have the honors, but I don't think we'll have such luck.
To ezchaos. I completely agree with you. I read the book in one sitting..(well technically, it was one night and into the morning) and I felt weird that I loved it so much I couldn't put it down. I was thoroughly depressed when I finished it because I wanted to stay in the story. From the first sentence of the book, I felt completely absorbed in the story, and I'm still dwelling on what a great work of fiction it was. I wish it would be placed on the mandatory literature list for highschoolers; it would be a great book to discuss.
July 3rd, 2008, 06:16 AM #6
It is a magnificent book, quite possibly the best novel I've ever read. Radone is right about the spare use of language - is this bit spoily? I'll play safe -
Spoiler:The few specifics he uses to illustrate the death of the world we know are beautifully chosen, and hit home damn hard. Cows are extinct. What a stunning thought; cows are extinct! Think of the word "countryside", and the mental image you get very probably includes a few cows dotted across the fields. Imagine them all being gone...I can't think of a clearer illustration of the death of the natural world.
And the train they find in the woods - I think the quote is, "Of course, there are no more trains." Trains are for me both historic and cutting edge; they are a link back to the industrial revolution, and yet they still run between our towns and cities today. That perfectly stands for the death of the human-made world, and all our great technology.
For me the chief achievement of the book is that it never feels despairing. It shines in my memory as a testament to the power of love, against the most mind-boggling odds. I have no doubt that this book will live forever. And I will read it every year for the rest of my life.
July 7th, 2008, 05:55 PM #7
A beautifully written, but utterly disturbing book. I didn't find it hopeful at all, and I question whether it is even redemptive on any level. It may very well be the most desolate work I've ever read. Rational thoughts intruded upon me as I was reading, such as, top predators (i.e., man) would be one of the first to die off, not the last... and so on.
July 8th, 2008, 11:24 AM #8
Well, yes...the death of the Earth does rather throw a pall over things, no denying that. However I still say that what I took from the book above all was the man's love for the boy, and his incredible courage. In that respect, in the persistence of one decent man's love for his child in the face of invincible odds, I call it redemptive. That may be a new pinnacle of looking on the bright side, admittedly.
But there's no way around it, bleak is the word. How could it be otherwise, given the nature of the story?
July 9th, 2008, 11:05 AM #9
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I found it to be an extremely cliched and simple story. It bored me to tears. I stopped halfway through.
March 11th, 2010, 12:23 AM #10
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I did not care for the book at all. My first problem was all of the misspellings or lack of punctuation. I assumed that it was due to the calamity that occurred within the story that let to the lack of spelling. Although the main character was an adult before the disaster occurred. That alone made me cringe throughout the book.
The second reason I did not care for the novel was that I just could not get around to caring about the characters. They were boring and to a degree cardboard cut outs. By the end of the book I found myself waiting for the end to arrive.
The only redeeming quality I found in the book was the mystery that surrounded the disaster itself. I found myself looking for clues as to what happened that led the world into that state and never did figure it out. That aspect I enjoyed. Beyond that I was very disappointed with the book.
March 11th, 2010, 10:48 AM #11
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I found this novel moving. McCarthy's simple, direct, spare writing, his reticence in describing the cause of the catastrophe, his depiction of the father's love of the boy andSpoiler:growing desperation when trying to protect the boy while aware he himself was dying, and the rift in their relationship as the boy realizes his father may not be one of the "good guys,"
If I have any quibble, it's a fairly small one: This tone of The Road reminded me of the catastrophe movies of the late 1970s and early 1980s, like "The Day After" and "Testament." I mentioned to a couple of people it's the most powerful late '70s disaster novels I've read because it concentrates on the human cost of man-made apocalypse.
March 11th, 2010, 11:21 AM #12
"Testament" is a great movie. I can remember being quite moved and unsettled by it. It's a movie you won't forget if you've ever seen it. Jane Alexander gave a great performance.
March 12th, 2010, 10:04 AM #13
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March 24th, 2010, 07:34 AM #14
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I am David Hood I am Asking about every one what is the mean of road of ok so just tell me, and i know you should know.
March 25th, 2010, 04:45 AM #15
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